Prejudging Them on Their Prejudice
Jim DeFede's article "Coming of Rage," (February 27) was an extremely well-written and insightful piece of journalism regarding the racial situation in Miami. Ira Everett's statement that Cuban immigrants do not appreciate the civil rights movement is true, but let's be frank. Cubans don't care about the civil rights movement. Miami is a mecca of money and power for the Cuban exile community. The plight of blacks, or Anglos for that matter, is not a major concern; the racism that some Cubans demonstrate is not new to them. Apparently Cuba is a country that has always been clearly defined by race and class. Just read Judy Cantor's article regarding Israel Kantor ("Exile Blues," February 27) -- if some Cubans won't listen to a white Cuban singing black Cuban music, what chance do we have on issues of race?

I grew up in New York, where Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Cubans, and other minorities all lived together in the multiethnic enclaves of Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan. Though there were clear differences in cultures, and we certainly didn't always see eye to eye all the time, there was a sense of collaboration on political and civil rights issues that affected all of us. I was astonished after moving to Miami to see the endemic racism in the Latin culture, even against their own. I've heard derogatory comments from Latins about other Latins regarding skin color and hair texture that can be translated into race and class differences within their own communities.

So how can we realistically expect Cubans or other Latins to have any empathy for the plight of American blacks, whom they hate for the most part? It is a sad state of affairs in Miami and it is much more deeply seated than we want to admit. Unless the Cuban political ruling class makes a concerted effort to do more than engage in political rhetoric, it is only going to get worse.

C. Byrd

Radio-free Cuba
Letter writer Daniel Cruz is right ("Letters," February 20): The music being made in Cuba at this very minute is excellent, and salsa musicians from all parts of the world pay attention to what the musicians there are doing. I just wanted to remind Mr. Cruz and all other lovers of fine Cuban music in the Miami area that listening to what is being recorded in Cuba is possible. Radio Progreso from Havana may be heard in Miami, and, as I understand, as far north as Hollywood. On some lucky days even Radio Rebelde, also from Havana, can be heard. Its Cuban-music programming is out of this world. Both stations tend to sound better before 7:00 p.m. Look for them at 640 AM and 830 AM.

Juan Hechavarria
Coral Gables

Gabe Tees Off
Kirk Semple's article "How Green Is Too Green?" (February 13) was an eye-opener about golf courses. I always viewed them as beautiful and luxuriously green. But as a dedicated environmentalist, I was aghast to read what is done to the environment in order to maintain them. Enough already!

We should put a stop to building any more of them. They are a great threat to the ecosystem, especially here in South Florida where our precious groundwater is affected.

Gabriel Powell
Miami Beach

Positively Nothing Negative
The letter from Richard H. Rosichan in the February 13 issue was embittered and sad, for both Mr. Rosichan and the residents of Buena Vista East.

We would like to advise him that we are trying to build a neighborhood, not continue to tear it down or let it rot. A sense of community is building in Buena Vista. It is fragile, but it is there. We certainly don't need any more negativity to batter and beat it to death. The history of Buena Vista is ours to use as a guideline, a tool, for rebuilding. If, however, we do not implement today the lessons learned from history, we are doomed to repeat it.

May I ask Mr. Rosichan if his vacated home in Buena Vista remained empty, or occupied by a single family during the four years before it was sold? May I ask why he didn't go outside and tell the men burglarizing his neighbor's house to stop? Or why he didn't at least take a picture so prosecution of the criminals would be certain, even if the police didn't show up in time?

Help us. We know our history. We're trying to build our future. Continued negativity, though it increases circulation and revenues for publications, does not help. Negativity is like trying to build on a pile of sand -- it shifts and flows away.

Buena Vista East sits on solid rock. We are here for the long run.
Sue Cheaney

South Pointe: Still Doubting Thomas
Thank you for your article "Arrested Development" (January 16) on the efforts of attorney David Dermer and Mark Needle to stop further waterfront high-rise development on Miami Beach. They, and those who work with them, are to be commended for their courage and commitment in continuing to do battle, David-like, against the Goliaths of Thomas Kramer, his infamous Portofino Group, and the city officials who profit from it all.

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